AMERICAN SAMOA GOV. SUNIA APPOINTS FITI SUNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (January 30, 2002 – Samoa News)---Governor Tauese Sunia has appointed Fiti A. Sunia to the post of Attorney General, leaving only one cabinet post vacant in the Tauese Administration.

Sunia's appointment is subject to Senate and House confirmation and the nomination was transmitted to the Fono yesterday.

Sunia has been the acting AG since the Fono rejected the governor's re-appointment of Toetagata Albert Mailo to the AG post last March.

The appointment of Sunia was made public in a general memorandum signed by the governor.

"Mr. Sunia has ably directed the Department of Legal Affairs for an extended period and I believe he is most deserving of this appointment," the governor wrote of Fiti's most recent accomplishments.

"I have the utmost confidence in the abilities of Mr. Sunia and request that you provide him your fullest respect, support and cooperation," the governor concluded.

Sunia has been at the center of several controversies during his tenure as Acting AG, including the Robert Maez fiasco, the three-day and 14-day entry policy confusion, the Chinese nationals who were stranded here in the territory and the prosecution of those allegedly involved in a medical insurance scam.

Maez is now working at the Fono and Fiti Sunia's nomination as AG should make for some interesting testimonies during confirmation hearings.

The appointment of Sunia to the AG's post comes a few days after a bill was introduced in the House calling for the public to elect the attorney general of American Samoa.

With Sunia's appointment of Sunia, only one more cabinet post -- Director of the Department of Port Administration -- remains to be filled.

Abe Malae, who is also the executive director of the American Samoa Power Authority, has been acting port director for close to two years now.

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